Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center Announces Economic Impact Figures for 2016

Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has announced its Whatcom County economic-impact figures for 2016.

CJ Seitz, director of the SBDC, said that 2016 showed once again the value of the SBDC to the local economy and business community.

“I am happy to report that 2016 was another successful year for the SBDC and the clients we serve. As a team, we delivered service, training programs and referrals to almost 500 unique clients in 2016. It is always rewarding to see the work we do with our clients result in new businesses getting started, jobs being created and retained, and our business owner clients feeling more empowered to make better business decisions,”  said Seitz.

Among the highlights from last year’s efforts by SBDC staff:

• The SBDC provided service to 495 unique businesses. This includes training programs, referrals and direct counseling engagements.

• The SBDC’s three certified business advisors counseled 307 clients. The SBDC staff provided 2,963 hours of in-depth counseling and research ─ an average of 9.65 hours per client.

• The SBDC assisted local businesses in saving or creating 131 jobs, up 10% from 2015.

• The SBDC helped 13 businesses start smart, which included 4 business purchase & sale agreements.

• SBDC helped clients in obtaining over $6.8 million in loans and new investments, a 33% increase over 2015 numbers.

• SBDC clients represent more than $158 million in annual sales, up 10% from 2015.

• The SBDC provided 11 training programs that reached 114 attendees.

The SBDC is part of the most comprehensive small-business alliance in the U.S., with more than 1,000 active SBDC programs across the country. Western’s SBDC receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham, the City of Bellingham and the City of Blaine.

Since 1983, Western’s Small Business Development Center has given back to the business community and helped to shape the economic future of Whatcom County by providing free, confidential advising, technical assistance, and research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive.

For more information, contact CJ Seitz, SBDC director, at (360) 778-1762 or CJ.Seitz@wwu.edu; or visit the website at: www.sbdc.wwu.edu